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tv   [untitled]    March 4, 2015 5:00pm-5:31pm PST

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ou very much commissioners. i'm mr. holsman a resident of san san francisco. i want to echo other folks in thanking the staff of the puc for putting together this amazing document especially on the relatively short timeline and it's really great to see this laid out in this detail and we look forward to seeing the full document as well and also appreciate the general manager kelly's comment about making it a realistic and conservative timeline. the important thing to remember with a conservative timeline is that you might actually beat it if you are lucky and we've heard from mr. freed and
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supervisor avalos so up to one to 2 months can be shaved off this process and i'd echo a previous comment i would hope that the staff and commission would be prepared with that level of flexibility in case we were able to come in sooner of course every month that we delay, x numbers of greenhouse gases are getting emitted unnecessarily. we've all got to the airport early and the jet way was not available because it wasn't prepared for you to be early so it sounds like the political will is there to make that happen. i would like to highlight the period of tween today and may 10th, so here it looks like pge is going to file green tariff
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rates on may 10th and i and i think that the period from now until may 10th represents basically our main target of opportunity to build excitement and publicity and goodwill about the great strides that san francisco is going to take with respect to clean power. obviously, there's going to be a lot of press when pge moves forward with this step and should be applauded for doing that. but it looks here like the program in item number 25 begins in maybe june and so it's important from now until may 10th to get as much press out there about clean power san francisco and what we're doing and i think setting not to exceed rates at pge's brown power rates would be a great way of expressing we're going to be able to get greener and
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cheaper electricity. >> thank you. next speaker is jeff ackerman. >> thank you. i'm the conservation program manager representing sixty thousand members and supporters. i just want to say thank you so much to to the commissioners and all of the staff for putting together this timeline so quickly and i'm really excited to see the additional detail and i'd also like to see the clean power sf page on the sfpuc website back up and running. i checked it last week and they all gave me error messages unfortunately. we have 6000 members in san francisco that would at least
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like to sign up for the program maybe tomorrow so if we could get that website fixed as soon as possible, that would be great. i'm really excited to see this and i'd also love to hear from the commissioners and staff a plan to include community stakeholders in this process moving forward in addition to just coming to the meetings and commenting on what's being presented but maybe our stakeholder's meetings again and not to delay any part of this process but have those voices be heard as part of the planning process thank you so much and i urge you to make to look for the places we can make this move faster. >> that's not the first time i've heard that about the
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website and i don't know about the enrollment piece and how quickly that can happen but if we can get the website on that would be great. >> i will do that. >> are there any other speakers today on this topic? seeing none, i would like to continue with the general manager's report while we're here so that would be 6 a. >> the drought. ellen? >> thank you commissioners. . ellen levin deputy manager for water enterprise. i'll give
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you the update. the first slide is where the the reservoir levels lie. water bank has dropped slightly and the cumulative , precipitation chart and we're tracking at at the at the 2007-year line and now we're it looks like we could possibly dip below last year's if we don't get some more precipitation and we had some melting of the snow from the last storm so we're watching that closely. we've got our
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snow survey ers out this week and we'll have a report at the end of this week on the snow pack conditions. on the on the total delivery side this is where probably our best news is our customers have continued to maintain their reductions in their water use and we're still seeing significant conservation well below our 10 percent reduction goal at this point. and our total system water savings again we're ahead of the curve on what we expect to save. this just shows you where we are on our precipitation index still for the month of february we're
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quite below the need for february. we're expecting some precip but unlikely to bring us the 6 the 6 inches we need by the end of the month. while december was really a phenomenonal month probably as we close out february we'll start to see ourselves slip behind on the local side but we were staying quite well ahead on the local side until february. the last time i was here with you i was telling you about the customer leak notification program that we're planning to roll out this spring. we'll use our automated water meeting data to identify our customers that have
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continuous consumption that means their use never goes to zero during the middle of the night and indicating a water fixture that is on whether it's a leaking toilet or break in the irrigation service and we'll be able to determine where those customers are and send a postcard to their billing addresses identifying that there may be a potential leak and planning to send the postcards out the first week of april and this is a pilot program we'll be monitoring these notifications in getting the leaks fixed and be able to track all of the customers we sent the notification to and see if it the leak actually got fixed. in summary, actually i think actually i'm sorry i think that what you have actually also shows that
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the new adds that we put forward and the hotel customers. can you switch this on? oh, it was on. so there's just two adds that i included in your presentation packet that shows two different advertisements that will be running in the hotel service area and eventuality move to
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other service areas and if we can switch back over to the presentation on the computer so our summary is the snow pack is deteriorating at this point. we'll continue to update you on the situation. any questions? >> thank you so much. no questions. >> the last item is the unbalanced policy report by charles perl. >> good afternoon commissioners charles perl deputy chief financial officer this item today is a quick update of
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commission policy progress reports that you requested we bring forward to you and if the content or format needs revisions or updates just let us know we'd be happy to incorporate that in the subsequent presentations and the first one is the fund balance reserve policy and as a reminder government accounting is fund based and the puc has 3 funds water sewer and power, the fund balances are considered our savings account representing cash leftover each year after paying our bills to our vendors and our reserve policy is to set a target for keeping a certain amount in a savings account in order to offset the rate setting as well as to accommodate emergencies and un expected expenses. so
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this commission took action 5 years ago in 2010 to set our fund balance reserve policy and we consider that as that as a prudent fiscal management practice and you might recognize the check boxes we've tried to incorporate this graphic in our reports that we show you each quarter and what this is doing is taking our policy and incorporating it into our documents that we share with you so our budget variance report and 10-year financial plan etc. and this is showing the policy that we set is set to meet or exceed 15 percent of our annual revenues and 15 percent of our annual expense and the 1.25 debt service cover ratio and
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generally means 2 months worth of operating reserves and what that means is we have a cash kush a a cash cushion of 2 months reserves and we'll be able to repay the bonds. >> in terms of of the objectives that we had at at the time and they remain just as relevant today to maintain operating reserves from and protecting the rate payer and making sure you have money set side in your savings account and it's good for long-term
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planning and so no need and in terms of of progress we've had lots of success in implementing this and since 2011 we've rolled this into 10-year financial plans. all of these show that we've been incorporating this policy into our fiscal planning and it also provides clear guidance to our credit markets when we go to issue bonds and the rating agencies and credit markets like to see that we're planning for prudent fiscal emergencies and our other needs similar to drought and that sort of thing and the 1.25 threshold also does setting the policy at that minimum level doesn't unfairly burden the rate payers
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meaning if we set rates higher than minimum thresholds it and that's a promise to the rate payers and we want to make sure we're collecting moneys to pay the bills and infrastructure work reserves are important but we want to balance the need to have an appropriate level of reserves and that's more the point. >> future considerations -- we wanted to share with you ideas there's no action items for your consideration i think what we'd like to hear from you is whether you feel an update may be warranted and we'll bring that back for your consideration in the future and one idea is looking at the different components of the reserves and increasing from 15 to 25 percent as an example and that would move us from 2 to 3
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months of reserves and the typical agency has between 3 to 6 months of reserves set aside and we're on the lower end of that and one consideration that we could bring back to you is to increase our reserve levels from the 2 to 3-month range and one other thing we could do is add the current debt coverage reserve to the policy. so if you incorporate fund balance which is, again, the savings account that i mentioned earlier, that always results in a higher number and the point that we lose when we do that is such as what we're facing in the current year. we have revenue variability of 40 $40 million and the other measure
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that the rating agencies look at is how much revenues are you generating in the current year. right now we're right on on on the 1.0 line, we're right on the edge so adding that debt service coverage ratio would be something that i'd actually recommend to the commission and we could consider increasing that is threshold or if we added the 1.0 those are the minimum requirements and other things agencies do is put forward in their policies a higher threshold so a 1.1 times ratio rather than a 1.25 or 1.35 coverage ratio to make sure you have the reserves above the minimum so a cushion
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in case you have a revenue shortfall and this slide showing if we did those things how much it would cost and an example where we'd increase the current ratio from 1.0 to 1.1 would require an additional 20 $20 million of revenues and if we did that all in in 1 year my recommendation is to phase in over time and that would change the rate increase from 12 to 18 percent and i know it's a one time thing and i wouldn't recommend doing it in a time of revenue variances that we're seeing now with the water sales reduction, but it's something that we could bring back to you and suggest we phase it in over time and again it would increase the over all reserves for the agency. with that i'm happy to take your comments and questions.
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>> on the current ratio if you are achieving above 1.0 so you have revenues in excess of your expenses, that money, that excess money goes into the inappropriated reserve? >> yes. >> what i'm wondering is whether -- how much of that is substance and how much of that is a question of timing and how you flow your money? if you budget to have a surplus -- i assume we would not propose to budget that we would build surpluses indefinitely over time. something would be done with that money and given that
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something is done with it, is it a matter of just doing it later? how do we think of that. >> you can think of it in many ways the way we've been using it as a long-term planning tool, is that we're making sure that as we bring forward the the 10-year plans to you or rate considerations for your consideration that by the time we -- if we're talking about those specific years we're adjusting the rate that those years in question meet these fund balance reserving policies and in many cases all of the fund balances in all 3 enterprises exceed these thresholds that i've described to you. they are all well above 15 percent and in some cases near 30 percent and in and in many cases we've already exceeded 30 percent thresholds which is a good thing and why we're suggesting adding the
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current ratio is that even though we show it on our budget variance report to you, it's not a requirement. it doesn't say that we absolutely have to keep a certain level of can reserves given how much revenue we're generating within the year versus taking fund balance out of the equation so the money is actually held in reserve and invested with the the city's treasurer's pool and not idol or lost in that regard but showing that the credit markets that we're able to with stand now and the water enterprise. >> some of the reserves, once you have built them, you don't have to keep build them. >> that's right. >> you can fill it up and stop
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filling it up at some point when you think you have enough so that when we talk about the amount of money that needs to be added it's a target to achieve over time. >> that's right. >> are you suggesting that you would be coming back to us at some future meeting with proposed changes to the reserve policy? >> i think based on this conversation, if there is -- if it sounds like that is something that would be acceptable i would at a minimum request adding the current ratio to our policy i think that would be a prudent thing r if us thing for us to do at a minimum. >> at what level? >> at least 1.0 and that will show the credit markets that we're not only watching our
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fund balance levels but that we're actually looking at our operating revenues within the year and we do show that as part of our budget variance reporting but it's not part of our formal policy. >> just speaking for one of us i'd be open to that i would want to make sure that i understood really what the implication of that long-term financial plan was. >> right and i wouldn't i wouldn't recommend changing our coverage ratios until we're past the revenue variance that we're seeing with the drought and perhaps the next the next 2-year budget cycle we could bring back suggestions at that time. >> we're going to be talking about rate structures in the months ahead and one of the things i'd hope to be able to do is reduce some of that rate variability so that we so that the reserves are less of an
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issue so it's kind of working the same problem from the other end so if we let that discussion take place and then get through this current revenue debt, that would be probably a good time to reconsider that. >> sounds good. >> thank you. >> i agree this is not the time to do it so any other comments, questions? thank you very much. >> thank you. >> that concludes my report. >> good. so let's move back on the agenda to item number 4. no, we've already done 4. item number 5. communications. any comments, commissioners on that? >> no. >> okay. item 7. >> item 7 is the urban pilot
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program update. agricultureal pilot program update. >> hello. we may have a technical difficulty but if so, we'll do it without the slides. so i'm going to start. miss ellis. last month you heard a presentation where we gave an overview of the various ways the sfpuc has invested in over the years. today we're here to give you an update on urban agriculture and in creating the
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pilot program the commission recognized that by the virtue of all of the infrastructure it takes to operate our core services of providing water power and sewer systems, that the sfpuc is a large landowner and as a large landowner we have a responsibility both to the rate payers to manage the land for the benefit of the rate payers so urban agriculture is one way to maximize the benefit and to be a good neighbor so as you probably recall back in 2011, the commission authorized an urban agriculture pilot program where you asked the staff to identify 3 sites in san francisco and as part of the pilot identified one site located at the college hill
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adjacent to the reservoir in in in in be rna l heights and adjacent to the playing fields and the site that we identified for the third pilot is not managed by recreation and parks and is the responsibility of sfpuc so primarily the focus around the pilot program back in 2011 when you all directed the staff to initiate this effort was focussed on puc property for secondary use and since that time there's been quite a bit of work to get those sites
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activated and construction done etc.. and we're working with other departments right now around creating a garden training academy and seeing some of the possibilities there and i say that to put some context around the presentation today. there is another component that we're working on on as we think of pipelines
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and career pathways as well and with that i'm going to turn it over to yolanda and see how well she does knowing that she was planning on using slides today. >> you know i'm going to have to go but i want to thank you in advance i do support this and i very much like the idea of public lands unused being activated for and by the community especially as a utility and i'm excited to learn more about the job angle as well so thank you. >> thank you. apologies for the technical difficulties i think we're going to try to work through it so if i could get the projector up -- the slides please. i apologize. it's very small, but we'll go from here. thank you commissioners. i'm delighted to be here today to give you an update on this very exciting